There was no confrontation; it was an attack against us, the Zapatistas claim

** The Good Government Junta will send the case to the EZLN’s General Command

** They denounce behavior of the CIOAC-H paramilitaries, headed by the Los Luises gang

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Faced with the murder of the Zapatista compañero Galeano (a teacher from the Escuelita for Freedom Zone) and the problem in the community of La Realidad, Chiapas, the Towards Hope Good Government Junta announced it will “withdraw its participation and pass the whole matter to the hands of the General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), so that it is well investigated and so that justice is done.”

It also contradicted that the Zapatistas may have been armed. “If we were, the result would be different.”

The Junta identified many of the “paramilitaries” from the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historic (CIOAC-H), headed by what is known in the region as “the Los Luises gang,” among many others Luis Hernández Cruz, José Antonio Vázquez Hernández, Roberto Alfaro Velasco, Alfredo Cruz Calvo and Conrado Hernández Pérez. Among the five that the government announced it had detained, the Junta only identified Hernández Pérez as “paramilitary.”

The rebel Junta recapitulates the facts. On March 16, when a health campaign was being carried out in General Emiliano Zapata autonomous municipality, with its seat in Amador Hernández, the Cioaquistas from La Realidad detained the Junta’s truck that was transporting the medications, with the pretext of the extraction of gravel in two trucks of the bases of support of La Realidad.

Although it’s the “La Realidad paramilitaries” who monopolize and use the collective gravel pit badly, with such a “pretext” they took away the vehicle and the medications from the Zapatistas, despite the agreement that the gravel is communal. “Organized and prepared” by the “three levels of bad government” for “the counterinsurgency campaign,” they went against the Junta, “because instead of detaining the truck that was transporting the gravel, they detained the vehicle that is at the service of the health of thousands of Zapatistas.”

The Junta sought a solution, but the Cioaquistas refused and the alienated truck remained at the ejidal house. Facing these “attitudes,” the Junta went to the Frayba (Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center) and asked the Center to approach Los Luises to outline the situation and request their presence on March 31” to discuss the “Cioaquista problem” in La Realidad.”

The CIOAC-H did not show up then, nor to a second invitation to dialogue, although they had accepted both times. The third date was May 1. Roberto Alfaro Velasco and Alfredo Cruz Calvo came from the officialist (pro-government) central. The latter left saying that he would speak with his fellow members in La Realidad, but “he was with the paramilitary chief of Los Luises” and returned to the Caracolwith another 15 people “to tell us that we would have to free Roberto Alfaro.”

Alfaro clarified to the Junta: “that he is not kidnapped or detained.” Those that arrived (with Cruz Calvo) sought to obligate him “to accept” that he was.

Despite these events, the meeting continued on May 2 and “was progressing towards an agreement” on continuing the dialogue the following day, but “the chief of Los Luises and the 15 were organizing something else outside.” That afternoon dozens of Zapatista bases were heading to the Caracol “for other work, and the paramilitaries ambushed them” at the entrance and in the center of the community. “Armed with both long and short arms, machetes, cudgels and stones, and before carrying out the murder, they began destroying the autonomous school” and cut the water pipes for the Caracol and the Zapatista families.

The ambushers attacked the EZLN bases with stones and cudgels. Other Zapatistas left the Caracol to help them, “but they couldn’t reach them, they were attacked in the middle of the village with firearms, and that is where our compañero José Luis, a teacher from the Escuelita por la Libertad Zone,” fell. He received three shots, one of which was “the fatal shot in the back of the head.” It was 8:30 PM on May 2. As for the 15 officialists that were in the meeting, “he told them to go out and control their people,” which no one wanted to do.

On May 5, the Junta adds, the Chiapas government said it had detained five persons; one “is indeed the paramilitary leader of the CIOAC;” the others “we don’t know them, but these are known, above all the maximum paramilitary chief Manuel Velasco and also the supreme paramilitary leader (Enrique) Peña Nieto.” Thus, those who took the life and shot the compañero to death “continue in La Realidad, provoking, and they will continue because it is the supreme paramilitary’s plan.”

The Junta emphasizes the presence of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center at the scene, in whose word “one can see directly who is telling lies and where the truth is.” And he points out: “Everything that came out in the press for pay (prensa de paga) is a lie. There was never a confrontation. What happened was an attack.

One Response to “There was no confrontation; it was an attack against us, the Zapatistas claim”

  1. […] The notes published by La Jornada about the violent incursion of the CIOAC-H [Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historic] in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad show all the symptoms of the War that wants to avoid calling itself such (i.e. the ‘dirty war’ of counterinsurgency). The State once again presents itself as a neutral factor in an inter-community conflict, using the “objective and professional” veil of journalists like Elio Enríquez to present information handed over by the Chiapan government and the aggressors of the CIOAC as truth. Through the written expression of Enríquez on behalf of the counterinsurgency, he became a tool in the state’s covert War. […]

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